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Celebrity Week

This has been the wildest one week of my life- five days of celebration of music, art and literature. All but in Thimphu. I feel sorry for friends who couldn't make it to the week long Bhutan International Festival. But one thing I gradually realised is that things don't happen in Thimphu, individuals and groups make things happen. It's all private initiative, people put brain, money and hardwork to fly in hundreds of foreign talents and discover hundreds of native stars. My deepest appreciation to the organisers.

While few youth have painted the entire picture of Bhutanese youth dark over the years, you should see those youth speakers at TEDx. Their talks will reassure you that our future is in the safe hands. The videos should be on YouTube soon, and I hope BBS will take a step forward to acquire the recordings and broadcast to the nation. By the way, all the talks were free besides free coffee- Amazing Bhutan!

Clock Tower Sq. and Mojo Park staged musics and dances of all sorts with some celebrity musicians from faraway lands performing. For once I wished if I had ten extra pairs of ears and eyes that I could send around to attend each of those events- Art exhibition at VAST, Dance program at Clock Tower Sq., Live Art at the Centenary Children's Park, Pottery and other craft at Tarayana, some never seen before art and science show... Thimphu was for once heaven for people like me. 

And if you have patience enough to wait late after the shows and reach all the places at once then there you have all the opportunities to bump into personalities you otherwise see only on screen, books or hear on your music sets. For me I have left no adventure unlived when the world of celebrities was at my door.

Thanks to Gangchu for introducing me to the central piece of the festival, Lucky Ali. The quiet man standing in the corner was not noticed by the crowd for quite sometime until someone informed the stage. He came out to relax at Mojo and landed up performing- quite a bonus for us. Not to mention that he happily posed with me and Kezang. 
Lucky Us, Lucky Ali
The two larger than live art pieces showcased at the centenary children's park were all over Facebook but nowhere have I seen the picture of two artists who painted them. Here you are. One is our own Chang, who did the Buddha.

The two artists on new canvas 
The super villain,  known to many of us as Feroz Bai, the international Don, our own Kelly Dorji was among us. There was a time when I and my brother watched his south Indian movies every time it came on Zee Cinema, which is like every week, and meeting him in person was quite a moment. To ace it, he sounded more excited to meet me- am I going to be on PaSsu Diary? Humility is Kelly!

Don't Mess with me, I have the Don's backing 
This guy Zhaw gave his explosive performance at TEDx, Mojo and Viva City and I followed him. I have heard melodious voices, and explosive voices but this guy has both together. I don't know if he would even remember but I have never failed to shake his hands after his performance. 

Zhaw!
And finally in the field I love the most-Literature: This must be the fourth time I met author Kunzang Choden, the godmother of Bhutanese Literature in English, but I have never really dared to ask her to pose with me. This time I went with a plan, I asked my daring friend Pema Chhomo to set it up for me. While I was in conversation with the author, Pema walked in and said, "O' Ashi, PaSsu idolises you, why don't two of you take a picture together." Finally Click! Thanks Au Pema.

Finally!

 

His Majesty's Carpenter Story

It was winter of 2000 in Punakha that I first saw His Majesty in person, as a young crown prince. You can calculate how young he was then. I was participating in national level sports meet in Khuruthang, when then His Royal Highness visited us. In the school hall, I along with over hundred sportsmen from schools across the country listened to a story His Royal Highness shared.

His Majesty 
The story was about a very skilled carpenter who spent all his life building houses for people except himself. One day the old carpenter was invited to build a house by a rich man, which was going to be the last project because he has grown very old. When he finally completed the house the rich man came to him and said, "You have spent your life building houses for other but you don't have a house for yourself, this last house you built is my gift for you."
The carpenter who should be very happy about receiving the gift, looked at the house he built and in deep repentance thought "If I knew this house was for myself I would have build it better in so many ways"

That day when I heard the story I thought the carpenter was stupid, I felt sorry for him, yet I rejoiced in the fact that he got a house and that he could improve the house as he wished because after all he was a carpenter.

I retold the story so many times to my siblings and friends over the years, and gradually I began to discover the deeper meaning. Soon I began to resent the carpenter. He was a gifted person who had never done his best. Only when he knew the house was his to take he thought of how differently he could have built.

I grew up with the story, and the story grew with me. His majesty's message seeped deep within me. When I look back I realised I was like the carpenter when I was studying, halfhearted in my endeavours and disregarding purposes in things. Later, the life I have build in school was finally gifted to myself at the end of school. I got lucky, but there are many friends who had to live the halfhearted lives they build for themselves, like the regretful carpenter.

Eight meaningful years have passed by since I began my career and when I look back I am proud that I have built all the houses like they were my own, and like the rich man's gift,
everything in coming back to me in the form of satisfaction, experience and happiness.

On His Majesty's 35th Birthday, along with my prayers I commit to put my heart in every little thing I do in enriching the lives of people around me and the society without fear or favour. I commit I will be responsible and won't tolerate irresponsibility. I promise I won't be corrupt and won't tolerate corruption. This is a humble gift to his majesty from an ordinary subject.
 

Anyone Can Do Portrait- Simple Technique

I am doing this blog for all the people who wanted to know how I did those professional looking portraits I posted on Facebook. Like I promised, it's very simple and at the end you will find me not so talented after all, but it's ok because even I learned it within ten minutes of chat with the founder of VAST Yangtse, Mr Jimmey Dorji. It take a little bit of curiosity with more than average passion for art to do it. 

Step 1. Look for a good quality picture of the subject you want to work on, most probably yourself or your favourite person to begin with. I have chosen His Majesty's picture to demonstrate because I know you will try doing His portrait at one point. 
When using any picture editing software (Paint, Publisher, Photoshop, etc.) convert it into Black and White picture (completely). If you have Photoshop then follow the procedure shown in the picture (Image> Adjustment>Threshold)



The following is the result. Make sure Black parts are well defined. Don't make it too black to too white, maintain the integrity of the picture- it has to look like His Majesty even with just simple Black and White patches.


Step 2. Print out the edited picture. Bingo, we are done! Well not that fast. Choose a good paper if you have. Transparency sheet is best if you want to reproduce the art over and over but otherwise just ordinary paper is ok.


Step 3. Using a blade or cutter knife cut out the black portions carefully. The finer you cutting the better the result. 


This is how a finished stencil looks like. Mine is not so well done because I had to rush to finish this blog.


Step 4. Place the stencil on the canvas or wall or shirt or wherever you want to do the portrait and paste it using a tape. Make sure there is no fold on the stencil.
It's time to choose colour, the best is black. Acrylic paints dry instantly therefore get a small bottle of Black Acrylic to avoid spillovers. Then you need a sponge to apply the colour. But since I don't have a sponge I am going to use brush.
Now soak the sponge or brush in the colour and carefully apply all over the opening in the stencil, making sure that the colour is evenly spread all over. Pay special attentions to small corners like eyes and lips.


 Step 5. Let it dry for a while. If you have used Acrylic then no worries, but if you have used water colour or oil colour then remove the stencil carefully and there you are... Just waiting to be signed! T


The stencil can be used again and again and again until it tears off. If you have used transparency sheet then there is no question! All the best! If you are doing one right away, give me the honour of looking at your finished work!

 

Paro Has a Problem

Paro is a gateway to Bhutanese economy, and that explains why our economy is unhealthy. I am quite new to this place to understand the secret to how they managed to keep the town so dirty. It's amazing how people can adapt to living in dustbins and I don't quite know how responsible authorities manage to sleep peacefully.

Someone told me a story about attitude of business people in Paro town; Once an elderly woman was seen dumping her waste in the drain in the middle of town, and as matter of fact he went to ask her to take care of her waste. You know what she replied? "O Boy, don't worry, scouts will come to clean up the town on Saturday." It's clear that all the good intentioned cleaning campaigns school children conducted in the town went on to pamper these people and it only taught them how to take waste for granted.

I confirmed the story firsthand within my short stay in this place. One day Clean Bhutan brought along a passionate group of college students and cleaned the entire town. For the first time I saw the town clean. As always it took a cleaning campaign to let the town breadthe fresh air. I don't know how no Parob felt guilty about letting people from as far as Shrubtse and Gedu colleges clean their town. Quite obviously, unthankfully, and unfortunately I saw the town back to its sorry state just a few days later. Following are the pictures of one spot I took to show you the state of Paro over the past weeks. Now they are waiting for another cleaning campaign! 
Before the Cleaning Campaign
After the Cleaning Campaign
Later, and few days after
People living in this place should know that their irresponsible way of living could damage the image of the whole country. While they deserve to suffocate on their own garbage, they should not forget that they live on the gateway to Bhutan. Tourism keeps the heart of Paro beating and it's their natural responsibility to make the place worthy of the privileges it gets. Be it the town or the way to Taktsang, it's time Paro stopped waiting for the goodwill of responsible people from elsewhere.
Jangsa Bridge
 For now there seems to be no municipal body in Paro, and if there is one perhaps it's time they surprise us by justifying their role. The location and size of mobile dustbins should be intelligently changed. The frequency of garbage collection around the town should be upscaled. Irresponsible people should be heavily fined, because education seemed to have failed but again they might say the garbage trucks don't turn up or the dustbin in the town corners are tiny. So basically it must begin with the change in system. I still remember following a garbage collection tractor along airport road that spilled waste all over the place as it sped ahead of my car. The plastics were flying on to my windscreen and sacks of waste were dropped on the road. Can you believe these were the people entrusted to manage waste?
Tamchoe Lhakhang
I also think the handicraft shop owners should lend their clean hands to make the town clean for their potential costumers to happily visit them. The same should be the moral responsibility of Guide Association of Bhutan and Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) to make the town welcoming for their bread to fly in. It is more than ever important to let Paro shine and glitter because 2015 is going to be big for tourism industry as Bhutan observes Visit Bhutan year. If Thimphu is the heart of Bhutan, Paro is truly the face and we can't present a dirty face to our guest. We haven't done it thus far and let us not set an unglamorous precedent by doing it when we are inviting the world to come visit our pristine country. 

Bottomline: Stop giving Paro fish, teach Paro how to fish!

(I think everybody knows about the effect of solid waste on our environment and ultimately on ourselves, therefore I am not discussing the cliché in this article.)
 

The Lost Bloggers- Calling Them Back (Blogger Award Post)

I am happy to see the recent activity among the Bhutanese bloggers, nominating each other for 'Very Inspiring Blogger Award' and forming a warm network. It's an interesting exercise to do from time to time to get ourselves connected with each other and with our writing. I discovered more young and passionate bloggers in last few weeks than entire year because of this chain awarding blogposts. I would like to thank whoever has started this.

Thank you Rima Reyka, the Singaporean blogger who is so deeply connected to so many of us here in Bhutan, for nominating me and getting me in this wonderful loop. The same gratitude also goes out to my fellow Bhutanese blogger Amrith Subba, Langa Tenzin, Lekey Choden Dorji and Sonam Tenzin for considering me worthy of his regards. (Let me know if anyone else has nominated me)


Coming down to real deal, I find it unusually hard to sieve just 15 bloggers from among hundreds I know and read. I have different liking for different blogs, each has different style and theme and at the end their impact is unique, therefore pointing out 15 very inspiring blogs is very disheartening. I have been trying to do it for days.

Then I have decided that I will nominate senior bloggers to narrow down my choices. I have deliberately chosen some bloggers who have left their blog barren for long time, and some who have left blogging altogether. I am strongly hoping that those who have left blogging will return, and pick up from where they left. Because they were the ones to lead, and they have shown us how to make differences.

Therefore I nominate the following bloggers that have shaped my blogging profession in more than one way:


  1. Tshering Tobgay's Blog (Your excellency, I know you are busy but in Blogosphere too you are the Prime Minister)
  2. IamDrukpa (You are crazy- while you posted and while you left)
  3. Penstar (You posted one in a longest while, come one!)
  4. loteY's : straight from the heart (Yes, straight from the heart, still)
  5. Bhutan Literature (After FCB you seemed to have forgotten Bhutan Literature)
  6. Luzee (You are becoming lazy!)
  7. Feelings and Emotions (Is motherhood so bad? Why did you delete your blog?)
  8. Kuenza's Diary (I know you posted recently but I expect more)
  9. Qinza's Stories (What happen now?)
  10. Writing My Own Unwritten Lines (You still have Unwritten Lines, don't you?)
  11. Sonam's SillyWit (Missed your wit for so long, where are you?)
  12. Dorji Penjor (Seen you active on Facebook, let do it on your blog too)
  13. Dorji Wangchuk (Those amazing stories on your Facebook Walls can be here)
  14. Hear My Voice (We will, come back Yeesi)
  15. And There is More to Life (Ya, there is more to life, come back)
While my hands itch to type Wangcha SangeyRiku Dhan Subba's Blog, Through the Eye of a Bhutanese YouthThoughts & Works, Porky Pie, I Relate to ThatLeythro- the Continuity of FateLekey Wangdi - From Tiny Himalayan Nation of Bhutan, and Bhutan Land Of The Thunder Dragon but I have seen that they are active and inspiring people everyday. And I know I have missed on so many other bloggers who have made differences... and that's why I don't like this awarding system... ) 


(The two blogs I still remember years after they are removed are A Blog By Tongyal and Lobxang. I wish they would come back)


7 Things About Me, which are narrowly about my online activities and other relative details:

1. I am a Computer Applications Teacher
2. I am co-founder of WAB (Writers Association of Bhutan)
3. I am founder of B-Bay- Buying and Selling Second Hand Stuffs in Bhutan
4. I am Founder of Bhutantoilet.Org
5. I run the Page 'Thank You Dr. Lotay'
6. I also Run the Group "Breaking the News"
7. I am nocturnal, trying to compensate waking hours from my sleeping hours

Now if you wish to join this nomination chain, following are the rules:


  1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you
  2. List the rules and display the Award on your blog
  3. Say 7 facts about yourself
  4. Nominate other 15 amazing bloggers for the award, link them and inform them about the nominations
 

Jigme Singye Wangckuck- the Embodiment of Rigsum Gonpo

 One of World's greatest orators, His Majesty the King of Bhutan during his address to the Nation on the 107th National day offered what is by far the most poetic and comprehensive tribute to his father, the fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. It was only in the greatness of his speech that we find a single metaphor that could fathom the divinity of his father.
His Majesty, 107th National Day (Source: Facebook Page)

Following is the metaphorical paragraph from His Majesty's address:

"
His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo brought the nation out of darkness to light. For the remarkable transformation His Majesty brought to the nation, the people consider His Majesty to be the embodiment of Rigsum Gonpo. When the nation’s security was threatened, his form was like Vajrapani (Chana Dorji) defending bravely the country without fear for his life. His Majesty took the cause of wellbeing and happiness of his beloved people like a manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokitesharva (Chenrizig). The clarity of His Majesty’s visionary policies that still shine and guide us in our path of good development was similar to that emanating from Manjushri (Jambayang). For these reasons, it is an opportune day for all Bhutanese to collectively express the debt of infinite gratitude to His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo and to join together in heartfelt prayer for His Majesty’s long life and good health."

The Rigsum Gonpo that His Majesty mentioned are geographically best represented in three identical mountains standing magnificently in Haa Valley. They are called the Meri Puensum, the three mountain brothers, which are consider very sacred and worshipped by people of Haa.
The overwhelming geography of the three mountains is very intriguing. It's only by visiting the place that you can truly fathom and appreciate the uniqueness of the extraordinary landscape. I therefore welcome Bhutan to Haa this year!

Rigsum Gonpo, Meri Puensum- seen from Tshaphel
It can be best fitted into a single frame of photo if perceived from Tshaphel, while the spellbinding view can be enjoyed from anywhere in Haa, and from along Chelela road.

Rigsum Gonpo Thanka by Nick Dudka

 

Knights' Corner- A WAB Book Café, Bajothang

Following is a paragraph from an article I wrote in 2014, There are 100 Bars and No Bookstore in Bajothang
"I wish to celebrate Reading Year by putting together all my gut into opening the first bookstore in Bajothang. If there are 100 ways to get drunk, let me give them one way to remain sober. It will be a huge sacrifice and I don't know how I will do it. As I type this article my friend Dawa Knight and I have already visualized a vague but brave plan to get it started-something like Book Cafe. I will need long tax holiday, book donations from individuals and established businesses, and Dawa's living room,because he has decided to remain single for some more years, to being with."
If I were in Bajothang I would have lived this sober dream much bigger but I couldn't just let the sweetest dream die with my transfer. So I handed over all the books I had to my friend and partner in this Book Cafè dream, Dawa Knight.
That one Shelf we have



Last week, when I visited him our Book Cafè was ready, but in the most humblest way. It's just one shelf of books standing in the middle of one of Dawa's rooms. It's no where close to the type of Book Café we had in mind but it was the best we could do being a working person and now displaced across Dochula.

Dawa Knight has not only sacrificed a huge private space for this initiative but also put his entire collection of books on the public shelf. The only condition he had was to give a personal touch on the name of the place. It's part of a larger initiative Writers Association of Bhutan (WAB) is taking in creating Book Café in each Dzongkhag, and since he owns and runs that place he wants to call it Knights' Corner- A WAB Book Café. It's located on the first floor of Hotel New Town.

The Space that is big enough...
The books in Knights' Corner were donated by Au Gyembo Sithey and family, Au Ugyen Tenzin and Chador Wangmo on top of our own collections. The five cartoons of books Au Gyembo Sithey contributed were gifted to me personally, but since Au wanted the books to be shared and read, I thought it can be best done by putting on Café Shelf. Your kindness is inspiring and infectious.

A Similar initiative is planned in Thimphu. The Founder of WAB, Nawang Phuntsho himself wants to dare a bookstore in Babesa, Thimphu. Kindly support him by donating books, furnitures, and kind words. If successful the place can be used a WAB headquarters.

My own plans to open one in Paro is still incubating. For now I would like to seek help and offer help for Nawang's Book Café in Babesa. Lets do something in 2015, the National Reading Year, that we will remember forever.

To Help or Donate Books Call
Nawang, Thimphu @ 17641582
Dawa Knight, Bajothang, @17163878
PaSsu, Paro @17605030
Ugyen Gyeltshen, Trongsa @17693100
 

Letter to Kelzang Chhoden

Dear Kelzang Chhoden,

Along with thousands of people across the world I read those heartbreaking letters your dear husband Tenzin Dorji wrote to you ever since you left him. It was so painful to read yet so enthralling to avoid. In the midst of reading my vision would blur and before I realise tears would roll down my cheeks.
In those letters we knew you, we saw the radiance of your young heart; in those letters we celebrated your selfless love; in those letters we felt your ambition and drive for change, your perseverance was far ahead of your age; In those letters we pained in your sickness and those letters shattered us in your death.

But you left behind a dream, and I am writing to tell you that your husband lived that dream bigger than you ever thought. You have left him a purpose, a deeper meaning to seek in your death beyond the endless tears and sleepless nights. He hasn't left a single stone unturned in building your dream on his broken heart. I must tell you that your memories have touched countless lives, which pains me to wonder what you would have done if you lived on.
It's the hardest to digest knowing your death was avoidable and I am proud to tell you that your husband fought a hard battle against all the people who were involved. He knows that you are gone forever but he didn't want the same to happen to anybody. I hope this time the message went deep and high.
Tenzin Directing a Child at the Camp!
Your husband engineered your dream into Camp RUF(Rural Urban Friendship) and it has inspired the largest assembly of charitable Bhutanese, they came forward to offer help in all humanly possible ways. They came together to support your husband in his sincerest pursuit of your dream. They seek love, compassion, kindness, and peace in helping him because his love for you, even in your permanent absence, was a heartwarming surprise.
We followed your dream to Dagana, Lungtengang Pry School, the school where you taught. It reminded me of my one year in Sombaykha, Haa. I saw the room you lived in, the ceiling was almost falling down and there is hardly any natural light coming in. The toilet was over hundred meters aways, without water. Tenzin told me how hard it was to walk you over that painful distance at night when you were sick. I felt so guilty knowing that in your sickness you lived in such difficult place while we lived easy urban lives.
The camp, likewise, was a big eye opener for the 54 urban students and volunteers. I had joined over 150 campers as a photographer along with my South India friend. While I grew up in village and had been in equally difficult place yet the camp had so much to offer. It made us realise how many things we have taken for granted, it made us realise how ungrateful we have been. I could see the reflection of how the urban children would feel in my Indian friend. He was a lucky child and he only realised it in Dagana. He was totally underprepared for the place and after four days he literally gave up and I had to leave the camp with him. He still tells me that he is happier than ever after Camp RUF, he says he now has no complains about his life at all. I hope the camp had same impact on all the children too.
Your mother and sister graced the camp and I know how painful it must have been for them to be there but you should have seen the pride in there eyes as they look at your husband. When your mother left she left a message for him, "Tenzin, you are no more my son inlaw, you are my son."

Those four days at Camp RUF with my camera gave me the opportunity to capture the joy of giving, the joy of helping, joy of sharing, the joy of friendship... I will never forget that expression on Ap Phuntsho's face on the day the campers help him rebuilt his home. I wish I had stayed one more day to experience the moment when children visited their host families and gifted them clothes. But I know by leaving the camp early I have saved myself from the terrible pain of departure. Those three evenings where I presented the photo slideshows made me feeling the subtle attachment to those innocent faces and selfless friends I had captured.
At times among the busy crowd of happy campers I saw your husband lost in his thoughts, I know he is wishing if you were there. Sometimes it seems like he gave way too much joy that he had nothing life for himself but he told me that those silent moments were spent in celebrating your memories and thanking you for giving him so many sincere friends and making him live a purposeful life.
Lone Tenzin watching the campers 

It been a while and I am looking back at the pictures from the camp and in those thousand pictures I see how a man can change the world. Your husband made it. I hope the successive camps will be as successful and inspiring.

With Love
Aue PaSsu

P:S: I forgot to tell you that Tenzin has finally decided to move on. He found a Kesang in whom he saw a little bit of you. I met her on my way back. I hope they find in each other the divine love you left behind.


 

The Buffalo Horn in Daga Dzong

In my last post I wrote about the mythical treasure of Daga Dzong but I have not discussed about where it came from. I could only write about having seen it for real. It was a 7.2 feet long buffalo horn, which is by far the largest in the world (at least as far as I know).
Illustration of the Horn in comparison to my height

THE LEGEND

The Legend has it that one day in 17th century, people living in Daga Dzong heard an unusual bellow of a buffalo from the deep jungle across the valley. The Lam (ID not known) sent his subjects to check on the animal but upon reaching the site all they found was a pair of gigantic horns.

They pair of horns were kept in Daga Dzong for centuries and over the years, it was said that the horns were carelessly thrown all over the place until one day one horn flew away. It was then that the single horn left behind was received back in the Goenkhang of the Daga Dzong and treated as one very important treasure.

The other horn which flew away is believed to be in Talo Monastery in Punakha (Need to confirm). It's pity that I didn't know about it when I was close to Talo. I visited Talo twice and if it was true it can't be missed, literally.

ASSUMPTION

After having seen the horn itself there is nothing so unbelievable about anything but because horns don't have wings I am a bit suspicious about the flying horn myth. I rather prefer to believe that the horn was brought to Punakha as a gift, because Daga Penlop was known in history has someone who brought the best gifts to Punakha Dzong during those day.
The Three Parallel Staircase, Punakha Dzong
It's said that the three parallel staircase in Punakha Dzong were for Trongsa Penlop, Paro Penlop and Daga Penlop, where Daga Penlop was given the privilege to climb the central stair because of the kind of gifts he presented. Perhaps he must have brought it along with so many ivories he presented to Zhabdrung those days.

But how it reached Talo could be another story or may be it really flew, or perhaps it's not even in Talo. (There is more to learn about this fascinating legend)

SCIENCE OF THE HORN

After seeing the horn, I have looked all over the internet to see if there is any 7 feet long buffalo horn in the world but I found none. In fact, no species of buffalo has horns that looked close to the one in Daga Dzong. Of course none matched its size too. So is it really buffalo horn?


Bongo with Large Horns
As I pursue my fascination for largest horns I stumbled upon Bongo, the largest and heaviest antelope found in the Lowland Rain Forest of West Africa and the Congo Basin to the Central African Republic and Southern Sudan. This animal has similar horns that grow very long. But again how could a pair of horns from Africa land up in Dagana? and More over the world record holding Bongo horn is just 3 feet long, no where close to the 7 feet long mythical horn in Daga Dzong.

Therefore the mystery remains and it's best left that way. 

2015 is observed as Visit Bhutan Year and it's time we Bhutanese visit our own country and enjoy its unmatched cultural heritage and endless mysteries. I am giving you 7 feet long reason to visit Daga Dzong this year. World dreams to visit our country, we are already here!

Disclaimer: There could be factual errors regarding time periods and historical references for which I seek your kind correction. Please leave your comments in the comment box below. 


 

Mythical Treasure of Daga Dzong

My Maiden journey to Dagana held a mythical surprise for me, which ironically emerged from an american friend. I was invited to Camp RUF in Dagana by my friend and founder of the camp, Tenzin Dorji, as photographer. Though it was a privilege, I had to decide to leave the camp early because I took along a foreigner friend who turned out to be little too 'underprepared' for the kind of place the camp was setup in. He was ready to leave on his own but I was quite unsure about how he would make it back given the remoteness of where we were and rarity of transportation services.
My another Milestone
It was the night before we left that I shared about my plan to visit Daga Dzong on our way back, when Julie, an american lady teaching in Thimphu and facilitating at the camp, asked if I knew about the massive Buffalo Horn treasure of the dzong. It's ironic yet very heartening to learn about the mythical treasure of Daga Dzong from a foreigner.
Daga Dzong
How massive can a buffalo horn be? I was skeptical yet curious, and when I heard the horn stands taller than me I was convinced that I wouldn't leave without seeing it of myself. Deep inside I wasn't ready to believe the myth. I suddenly went around seeking confirmations from local teachers, and surprisingly many had just heard about it. There are a few of them who claimed to have seen it and they description couldn't logically convinced me. They say it's over 5 feet long, and I can't imagine a buffalo that carried a pair of 5 feet long horns. I assumed that it possibly just a myth and whatever was there in Daga Dzong must be something else.
But I was shivering with excitement when I finally took that 43 km journey to Daga Dzong from Dagapela after declining a comfortable free ride to Thimphu. The middle aged cab driver was a local who was one among the many people who heard about it but haven't seen it. It was only getting interesting.
Finally I walked into the central tower of Daga Dzong with my friend Hemant, and there we were face to face with the Buffalo Horn. I stood there frozen at the sight of it. It's really a horn and it's even longer than I ever could have imagined. It's officially 7.2 feet. I touched it, it's real. How could it be possible?
Illustration of the Horn, since camera wasn't allowed inside.
 Continue in the next post- The Buffalo Horn in Daga Dzong

 
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